Black faces in high places are dangerous because the masses get caught up in symbolism and style over substance. They become confused and fall for perceived power over real power. An example would be Plantation Manager Joe Biden. He has appointed close to two dozen African Americans (mostly women with European husbands and wives) to his cabinet and senior advisors—more than any other President (including the one he served under), and there has been no significant changes in the conditions we live under. Yet, because there is a Black Woman Vice President, a Black Woman Supreme Court Justice and Black Woman Press Secretary, many Black people, including activists, somehow equate that to “Black Girl Magic”.
Black August is a month-long commemoration of Black resistance against oppression, with an emphasis on Black freedom fighters and political prisoners. To this day, dozens of Black freedom fighters remain incarcerated in US prisons after decades. As Black August gains more mainstream currency, many activists want to make sure its original purpose in uplifting Black resistance and the ongoing struggle to free political prisoners is not erased. The Jericho Movement is an organization fighting for amnesty and freedom for all political prisoners, from Leonard Peltier to Mutulu Shakur. On this episode of Rattling the Bars, Jihad Abdulmumit and Paulette Dauteuil of the Jericho Movement speak with co-host Mansa Musa about the work of their organization and the significance of Black August.
My very first recollection of becoming aware of the need to do something to change this society happened when I was 11 years old. I was on a city bus in San Francisco traveling from school back to my neighborhood. The bus was extremely crowded. At one point, four teenage African (Black) young men rapidly boarded the crowded bus. They were each carrying firearms and I recognized all of them immediately as hell raisers from the neighborhood. They proceeded to force the riders to empty their wallets, purses, jewelry, etc., into garbage bags. They didn’t waste any time with me. They didn’t even look in my direction, or at least that’s what I thought. When they started to disembark the bus, one of them reached over towards me, slapped me across the face, and yelled towards me “don’t say s - - !” Then they were gone. Like the other traumatized passengers, I sat there frozen in fear.
As far back in history as the period of enslavement of African people in North America, resistance and rebellion has been met with retaliatory repression from the ruling interests. Freedom fighters such as Gabriel Prosser, Denmark Vessey, Nat Turner, Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, among many others named and unknown, have been either brutally executed or left with no alternative other than to seek flight from oppression. This same legacy of confinement, brutality and lynching continued into the post-slavery era of the 20th and 21st centuries. Between the 1880s and the Great Depression of the 1930s, thousands of African Americans were extra-judicially murdered by mobs of law-enforcement agents and vigilantes.
On July 29, the FBI conducted a surprise raid on the homes and offices of leaders of the African People's Socialist Party and Uhuru Solidarity Movement (APSP-Uhuru) in Florida and Missouri under the pretext that they were co-conspirators in an indictment of a Russian national, Alexander Ionov. In the raid, documents and electronic devices were stolen. The raid was coordinated with the Biden Administration. Clearing the FOG speaks with Chairman Omali Yeshitela of the APSP - Uhuru about the raid and the broader implications of it for activists in the United States. This raid is connected to the anti-Russian narrative that has been developed in the US to justify the conflict in Ukraine and it sends a warning to all who dare to work for justice and speak the truth. Visit APSPUhuru.org to find out how to show your support.
On July 29, 2022, the FBI raided the Uhuru House in St. Petersburg, Florida and the Uhuru Solidarity Center in St. Louis, Missouri. The raids were connected with the indictment of a Russian national who is accused of attempting to “cause turmoil in the United States” by engaging with “Unindicted Co-Conspirators” to act as agents of the Russian Federation. The African People’s Socialist Party (APSP) is the organization targeted by the FBI for a very simple reason. It is a Black organization which has dared to confront and oppose U.S. imperialism. The alleged connection with the Russian government kills two birds with one stone. The Russiagate hoax is continually resuscitated as it gives new life to claims of election and other interference and Black people’s organizations are as always the first to be targeted by the State.
It has been one year since the death of Black Agenda Report Executive Editor, Glen Ford. The turbulence of the past year has been as intense as Glen Ford’s loss to the movement. President Joe Biden is facing a crisis of legitimacy. Inflation and recession loom over a flailing U.S. capitalist system. A U.S.-led imperialist war with Russia and China is closer than it has ever been and Black America is no better off with a Democrat controlling the White House. Such conditions demand that we remember and emulate Glen Ford’s tireless contributions to the Black liberation, peace, and socialist movement. Ford was a student of revolution. Every word written and spoken by Ford was done in the name of developing a movement capable of bringing about the end of the American Empire.
After sixty-one years, the gold tooth of the assassinated Congolese independence leader Patrice Lumumba has been returned to his family and laid to rest. It is the only part of him that remains. After his brutal murder in 1961, Lumumba’s tooth was pocketed by a Belgian police officer and later held captive by the Belgian government. Its repatriation was preceded by a grotesque ‘colonial guilt’ show, in which Belgian King Phillipe expressed his ‘deepest regrets for those wounds of the past’. The King of the Belgians did not go so far as to formally apologize, nor did he offer reparations for the devastation inflicted upon Congo by Belgium. These two events so close in proximity illustrate clearly that despite supposed ‘decolonization’, Congo continues to be ensnared in the grasp of its colonial oppressors.
"The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere." General Order Number 3, June 19, 1865 *The fact that members of the United States Senate voted unanimously to make Juneteenth a federal holiday proved that the commemoration is of no political value.
The ongoing crisis and war in Ukraine threatens to pull the world into a disastrous nuclear confrontation. Disinformation, lies, and propaganda from the US and other western media are aimed at confusing millions of people inside the US and around the world to view Russia as the aggressor, while hiding the US role in the evolution of this conflict. One major example of this manipulation is that western media has not been honest about the massive role that the US played in facilitating a 2014 coup in Ukraine that overthrew the country’s democratically elected president, and funneled support to neo-Nazi forces who were favorable to US/EU interests, helping them rise to power in Ukraine.
As 2021 comes to an end, and the U.S. approaches the one-million mark of American lives lost to Covid-19, I would think holiday celebrations should include more somber notes than usual. Instead of seeing street behavior that would acknowledge grieving over 800,000 people in the U.S. who have died of Covid-19, we witness the convulsions for survival in a society and nation that is imploding as the wealth gap stretches far beyond our imaginations. In a nation inundated with death, whether from school shootings, the up-tick in crime rampages, fentanyl overdoses, alongside Covid-19 deaths, those who have passed may or may not have received the deserved attention due to their lives and legacies.
This is the first installment of the series, "Reclaiming History from the Revisionists". In this episode we take a closer look at an often suppressed aspect of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Many throughout mainstream US society do they best, year after year, to suppress the revolutionary and radical aspects of MLK. They don't want youth to know why the United States government vilified and targeted this man. The do this, in part, to prevent others from following in the enormous footsteps of this social justice giant. We must do our part to expose this often untaught history to as many as we can, especially the youth. A brighter and better future depend on it.
It is January, and in the U.S. this means it is time for the annual ritual of revisiting the white-washed, de-radicalized, pro- “American” M.L. King fairytale as part of the official celebration of King’s birthday. In the official story, Dr. King was not the creation of the movement that was fighting for the democratic and human rights of Black people. No, it was Dr. King who created the movement, according to the colonial white elite and the neocolonial Black misleadership. In this story, the objectives of the movement were not for radical social transformation and Black self-determination but the redemption of the U.S. settler-colonial nation/state and the quiet integration of Black people into the state. In other words, to complete the establishment of a “more perfect nation,” as Obama would put it.
We celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day not only to commemorate King’s historic role in overcoming racism and other injustice, but because his work and vision remain relevant. Today’s persistent racism in policing, health care, housing, and elsewhere, and attacks on voting rights — particularly for Black Americans — show that Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is not just about the past or the South. King got arrested in Alabama. He marched in Chicago. He spoke truth to power in Washington. He worked with countless activists and ordinary people to take action that transformed the Jim Crow South and impacted this whole country. But his outlook went well beyond our borders. Martin Luther King was an internationalist.